Last week, I posted about the Local Government and Environment Select Committee delaying the the two Manukau local bills by four months. In the comments, Tony Milne said that this was because the committee was "very overworked" and had a large amount of business before it (which they do). But looking at the select committee timetable for this week, I see that they're dealing with this backlog by meeting for all of two hours. Not exactly busting a gut to catch up, are they?
I know there are significant constraints on select committee meeting times. Parliament is only in session for three days a week (Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays), and unless they are hearing submissions, committees will usually only meet in the mornings, before the House sits. Tuesday is eaten up by caucus, and MPs are often members of other committees, so some careful timetabling needs to be done. That said, other committees make far more use of the time available. Education and Science, Finance and Expenditure, Government Administration, Health... all are meeting for the full three hours to cope with their busy workloads. Why isn't Local Government?